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Average time needed for immigration and luggage pick up at Havana airport2017-04-03T04:05:32+00:00

Best Cuba Guide Forums General Average time needed for immigration and luggage pick up at Havana airport

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  • AvatarYum54
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Hi

    I’d like to make a reservation for a taxi on this site, but I don’t know what time I should request for pick up from the airport. I’ve read some people mentioned it only took 30 minutes, but other people mentioned it took 3 hours for luggage to arrive. I’m flying with United Air. Any idea about average time would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    yum

    AvatarMario
    Keymaster
    Post count: 213

    Hi, just tell us the time you land and we will have the taxi waiting for you when you get out. The customs is fast. You wont be there more than 30 minutes. Anyway, the taxi sees your flight on the screen at the airport and he just waits. Even if it takes an hour, he waits for you. That’s his job.

    To schedule an airport taxi just check here: http://bestcubaguide.com/havana-airport-taxis-transfers/

    take care,

    Mario

    AvatarYum54
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Thank you, Mario! I just made a reservation through the link.

    AvatarKevin Cutler
    Post count: 0

    Hi we returned a couple weeks ago I took a year on and off planning our trip and I appreciate things often go wrong . I spent a lot of time emailing your assistants Isabel and Claudia only to be completely let down . I confirmed reconfirmed our flights and Casas . We spent about 2 hours on arrival trying change money and looking for our taxi pick up we later learned was never booked . We were tired and stressed so grab a cab to the address in Vadedo only to get a cold never heard of you or this site ‘ after some difficult explain gas they had little English and we had no Spanish calls were made and a alternative was found .   2 Dn Casa OK they were expecting us in Vinales so all was well next was Trinidad were after all day on bus were were again told no booking had been made. But they did have a room and very nice it was and the food excellent . So all in all your booking system was let down by who ever is responsible for making and confirming  I wouldn’t of minded paying a booking fee if I was guaranteed our room I believe you have a serious problem . Kevin .

    AvatarMario
    Keymaster
    Post count: 213

    Hi Kevin,

    I think we exchanged a few emails before your trip. I take it seriously that things did not go as planned during your trip. I will look into this and see exactly what happened.

    I will say a couple of things right from the start. 

    1. You mentioned that you spent about 2 hours exchanging money and looking for the driver. I have repeated several times on the website that travelers must meet the taxi driver first, before going to exchange money. The driver can track your flight on the TV monitors in the airport. Once your flight lands, he looks for you at the gate. If you miss each other, he cannot search the whole airport. If you go upstairs to exchange money and the driver is waiting at the gate (downstairs) and you guys never find each other, the driver leaves after a certain point. The driver was booked, his name is Roberto, and I can confirm that he arrived at the airport, as scheduled. Somehow, he was unable to find you. Let me look into it and I can get you more details.
    2. As for the casa, I confirmed your stay at Casa Carlos And Maritza. I was there with Claudia and we went to the landlords house directly, because we were in that area of Vedado, and I confirmed your booking. I saw the landlord write your name down in her reservation book. This was done many months ago. I am not certain what the issue was. I will call them and see what happened. I will tell you this, if those landlords bumped you, I am removing their house from the website. I have no great recourse against these landlords, I cannot force them to pay for bumping clients, but the protocol is, any landlord who disrespects a reservation like that, gets automatically removed from the website. Let me check into it.
    3. Vinales – I’m happy that went well. 
    4. Trinidad – Let me look into that. I find it strange that the landlords initially said they did not have your confirmation, but then had vacancy anyway, and took you in. I can see from the reservation system which we have in place that on April 10 (one day after you arrived), the landlord from Trinidad actually called us to confirm that you arrived, and said that everything went well. She had the reservation. She took our number down, and she called Claudia to confirm that you arrived. We made your reservation, it’s a guarantee. And in the end, it all went well… You stayed at the house you booked and there were no issues… I’ll take that as a positive.

    I will say the team of people I have working in Havana is really good. I think you exchanged over 30 emails with myself, Claudia and Isabel over the last few months. We answered every question and I gave you as much advice as I could. And now, for you to say that we didn’t do our job… We tried really hard, as we do with all customers. Concerning the Havana reservation, don’t believe some random landlord who barely speaks English, over myself, Claudia or Isabel, whom you have been interacting with for months, always professionally and amicably. The landlord will always give a song and dance when pressed for answers. But me and my team actually care about your stay. If we didn’t we would not have exchanged so many emails and spent so much time organizing your trip. 

    Also, on 28 March 2017 Claudia gave you her phone number (cell phone) and told you to call if there should be any issues. Did you call her? She is glued to her phone and if she was made aware of an issue, I know she would have bent over backwards to make things right.

    Give me a couple of days and I can try to get more answers. 

    thanks,

    Mario

    AvatarMario
    Keymaster
    Post count: 213

    Hi Kevin,

    I spoke with Claudia and the taxi driver and Casa Maritza. I will tell you what I was told.

    1. The taxi driver (Roberto) says that he waited at the airport. He saw that your flight landed and he was waiting at the arrivals area. He had a sign. He said that the people from your flight passed and nobody approached him. He was unable to locate you as you passed. But, the driver waited about 30 more minutes (with his sign saying “Cutler”) and he was eventually approached, in the top area of the airport, by somebody who identified himself as Cutler. The driver took this person to Havana. The driver could not remember what house he took this “Culter” too. It’s very strange. I’ve worked with this driver many times and he has no reason to lie. If you did not meet the driver at the airport, then somebody else took your taxi. I’m sorry. This is the first time this has happened. Honestly, I never even expected something like this. I will work to make sure this does not happen again.
    2. As for Casa Maritza, as mentioned, I confirmed it myself, with Claudia, in person. I spoke with Maritza just now and explained the problem. She was being evasive. I have removed that casa from the website. As mentioned, I don’t want to work with landlords who are not reliable. They make me and my team look bad and obviously make the clients upset. It’s just not worth it.
    3. Claudia mentioned that as soon as you arrived at Casa Maritza, you called her to tell her there was a problem with the reservation. According to Claudia, she sent a taxi to pick you up and brought you to another casa. The taxi was free to you (Claudia paid it). If this is not correct, please tell me.
    4. According to Claudia, the new casa (Guido) seemed good to you. You checked it out and told Claudia that you would be satisfied staying there.

     

    Is this more or less correct? I don’t know what happened with the airport taxi. Obviously there was a problem meeting the driver. Sorry for that.

    As for Casa Maritza, I removed her from the website. I’m sorry for that problem. I feel we worked hard to make things right, but I can understand your frustration. Things did not go according to plan.

    As for Vinales and Trinidad, I will be honest, landlords in those areas are far less money hungry and they have a bit more long term business sense. I’m happy you got to stay at the casas that you booked. I know you mentioned that the landlord in Trinidad said some strange things about the reservation, but ultimately, you stayed there (and we certainly did make your booking there.)

    Kevin, I hope that overall things were not too bad. I have been in many circumstances in Havana which were totally not planned and very inconvenient. I know how frustrating it is. Honestly, despite how much I know about Cuba, every time I am there I still always seem to get into sticky situations. It’s extremely common for things to go haywire sometimes. It seems that it’s almost part of the “Cuban” experience. It’s something that will likely change as business and hospitality develop in that country. My team and I are constantly trying to improve the client experience. Some things are not in our control, which is annoying to me immensely.

    I hope that overall your experience of Cuba was positive.

    thanks,

    Mario

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Avatar Mario.
    Avatarb12kjc
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Hi Mario I would just like to let you know that the taxi driver was not booked that’s why he didn’t turn up , I don’t think that was your fault but we went directly to exit after picking up our luggage and we went round for ages there was no one with my name on a board !! When I went to get cash my wife wIted with luggage at exit were every one else was being met  no one showed so I guess this is down to a member of your staff . I’m pleased you have removed the Casa in Havana from your list I am confident you did make the reservation and it was owner who was very evasive with us it was only when I got your guide book out and said look we booked with you via Mario that she rang Claudia . The Taxi that picked us up to take us to Guidos Casa wS not a taxi but a friend of Guidos with a very small old fiat it was even big enough for our luggage but it got us there nice old chap i used him again when we left and paid him to take us to the Viazul station .  With regards to Trinidad and the Casa booking there well I’m puzzled about that one however it was the best we stayed in and her cooking was great  we would like to return there at some time in future . So overall we had some great times and some hairy scary ones !! It’s worse when you been travelling for 12 hours and very tired but we learnt a lot and hopefully it will stand us in good stead for future trips thanks again for your advice and tips   Kevin .

    AvatarMario
    Keymaster
    Post count: 213

    Thank you Kevin. I am very sorry about the problems and I can promise you that we are working hard to make sure that these things do not happen. A few always manage to slip by and it always upsets me that mistakes happen. There are a lot of people who work in the process and a weak link can cause a chain reaction pretty fast. I’m sorry that in your case everything did not go as planned. Next time you are in Cuba send me a message and if I am there too I would love to meet you for a drink and chat and to show you the team and our operations. Take care and good luck with everything. Mario

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